Tag Archives: Andrew Miller

How ’bout those standings

Another week has passed and the Florida Marlins are still in first place. We’ve talked again and again about how surprised we are here at NL Beast that the Marlins have continued to overachieve as much as they have so far this season. We’ve said that the Marlins have the pieces to achieve and that they should be a real contender as soon as next year. We’ve said it can’t last this season, and that it’s a nice story until the Phillies, Braves, or Mets step up and regain the top spot in the division.

 

But every week proves us wrong as the Marlins keep winning. They’ve been criticized for beating up on the bottom of the barrel. Then they sweep the Diamondbacks. Their pitching has been criticized as young and inexperienced. Then Andrew Miller outpitches Brandon Webb. Their offense has been described as resting on Hanley Ramirez. But it is Dan Uggla who is setting the pace not just for Marlins hitters but for Major League Baseball. Make no mistake about it, the Marlins are a dangerous team.

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Marlins Beast (and least) of the week

The Marlins Beast of the Week is…

2B Dan Uggla, again. We’ve spent enough time explaining why this former Rule-V draft pick is a Beast (he won the distinction of Beast of the East the last two weeks running), so here are his stats from the last seven days: .333, .417, .905, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 1.321 OPS (ridiculous).

Runners-Up: Jorge Cantu, Kevin Gregg, Andrew Miller

The Marlins least of the week is…

1B Mike Jacobs. Nine strikeouts in 19 at-bats is just not going to cut it. Jacobs’ stats for the week: .158, .158, .158 (is this possible?), 0 HR, 0 RBI, .316 OPS. Jacobs is a crucial bat for the Marlins; he needs to improve for the Fish to stay hot.

Runners-down: Jeremy Hermida, Hanley Ramirez

Around the Beast

Braves 4-Mets 2

Atlanta starter Tim Hudson pitched masterfully, surrendering just 2 earned runs in 8 innings, striking out 4 and walking none on 100 pitches. Hudson got the win and is now 7-3 on the year. His only mistakes came in the second inning, when he served up home runs to Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

The Mets needed Johan Santana to pitch a gem, but their ace didn’t come through, allowing 3 earned runs on 12 hits in 7 innings on just 90 pitches, walking none and striking out only one. He drops to 5-3 on the season.

The damage came in the 7th, when Beltran misplayed a ball hit by Kelly Johnson, leading to RBIs by Omar Infante (who had been 0-19 against Santana), Chipper Jones, and Mark Teixiera. Willie Randolph didn’t take Santana out of the game, and the inning was only finished by a beautifully executed 1-6-3 double play.

Talk about teams headed in different directions; the hot-hitting Braves have won four in a row and are crusing while the mediocre Mets have lost 7 of 10 and are reeling.

Phillies 7-Astros 5

The Phillies scored early but almost blew it in their first game of the year at Minute Maid Park. Starter Kyle Kendrick did not pitch a great game, giving up 5 earned runs on 8 hits in just 5 innings of work on 91 pitches, walking one and striking out 2. But Astros ace Roy Oswalt was not much better, also giving up 5 earned runs on 11 hits in 6 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out 4 on 95 pitches.

Ryan Howard had a very good night, going 3-5 with a home run (his 14th) and 2 RBIs (and 2 strikeouts, as well). After the Astros had tied the game in the 6th, Pat Burrell hit a go-ahead pinch-hit home run in the 8th off of rookie Wesley Wright. Also driving in runs for the Phillies were Carlos Ruiz, Pedro Feliz, Geoff Jenkins, and Chase Utley (his 33rd of the year). Chad Durbin picked up his first win of the year, and Brad Lidge notched his 12th save of the year, this one against his former team.

Driving in runs for the Astros were Berkman, Brad Ausmus, Ty Wigginton, and Geoff Blum. Wright took his second loss on the year.

Marlins 4-Diamondbacks 0

The red-hot Marlins completed their sweep of the Diamondbacks in an outstanding performance by young Andrew Miller, who shut Arizona out in 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, striking out 9 and walking just one batter on 107 pitches. Miller, who picked up his 4th win, was opposed by Dan Haren, who allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, striking out 8 and walking none on 94 pitches.

Wes Helms drove in two on a pinch-hit double in the 7th to drive Haren from the game. Jorge Cantu also drove in two runs for the Marlins.

 

Marlins beat Dan Haren [Flying Fish]

Every day, it gets harder and harder to discount the Florida Marlins as a fluke. Yes, their pitching is thin. Yes, their team is young. Yes, one of their best players is on the DL. But the team keeps winning, somehow. Tonight, young Andrew Miller and the Marlins shut out Dan Haren and the Diamondbacks 4-0. Miller, who struggled in the beginning of the year, allowed 5 hits on 107 pitches in 7 innings, walking 1 and striking out 9. That’s pretty remarkable stuff against a hot-hitting Arizona team. The Marlins continued to capitalize from unlikely contributors, tonight’s being Wes Helms (who drove in 2 on a pinch-hit double in the 7th) and Jorge Cantu. Does NL Beast think this team is going to peak at some point in the not too distant future? Absolutely. But the Marlins have proven NL Beast wrong for about the last month on that call, so who knows?

NYT profiles the Marlins

Jack Curry asks why the Marlins are winning games in an article in today’s New York Times.

How did this happen? The young, pressure-free Marlins have exhibited a lot of power and a lot of passion, and they have also displayed just enough pitching. When the Marlins thrive, it is usually because they overpower teams, and because they beat the teams they are supposed to beat.

“They can hit, man,” Manny Acta said Monday at Shea Stadium after being swept by Florida over the weekend. “They can slug with anybody.

“It all comes down to their starting pitchers,” said Washington’s Aaron Boone, who played for Florida last year. “Miller, Nolasco, Olson and Badenhop, are those guys going to become good pitchers?”

This comes down to what I’ve talked about numerous times in the past; Florida will only continue to win as long as their starting pitching keeps overachieving. But this is a team to be taken seriously, if not for this year, then for the next few.

-Jonathan Kraft

How ’bout those standings

It’s May 12, and the Florida Marlins are in first place.

That’s right, for the second week in a row, the team that just unloaded its sensational third baseman and its pitching ace is atop a division that includes the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

A fluke? Not at all.

This is just one of the surprising storylines that has made this start to the 2008 season one of the more interesting that I can remember. Here are the storylines, one per team, that are making baseball fans scratch their heads right now:

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Buster Olney on the Marlins

When asked on Sportscenter this morning if the Marlins are for real, Buster Olney identified two pitchers, Andrew Miller and Ricky Nolasco, who are integral to Florida’s chances. Buster called the NL East a “muddy horse race,” and said that the Marlins can remain competitive if the back end of the rotation pitches well more consistently.

Miller’s stats so far this year: 2-2, 7.96 ERA, 2.12 WHIP, 15 BB, 22 SO

Nolasco’s stats: 2-3, 5.35 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 13 BB, 21 SO